Monday, May 7, 2007

SOLARIS (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)

The best Tarkovsky film I've seen as of yet(others are Ivanovo Detstvo and Andrei Rublev), and also, consequently ranks amongst the greatest sci-fi film I've ever seen. Its impact equals that of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, where one would experience a sudden gush of enlightening sensations by the end of it. On the surface both of them presents a story of a journey into space, but its themes are far deeper than space alone. Understandably it is often perceived that Solaris is Tarkovsky's answer to Kubrick's film, but ironically both of them differs quite largely from one another. And to add to that, Tarkovsky disliked the latter when he first saw it.

Where 2001: ASO deals with the outer/external examination of human existence(evolution, space, technology, God, etc), Solaris on the other hand deals more with the inner part of human existence. It's an inward journey towards the depths of feelings, the subjective nature of reality, how we are affected by our surroundings, and the consequence of the relationship between man and machine (also can be related to 2001: ASO; though ASO's theme is on humanity as a whole and Solaris' on an individual). It's utterly mind-blowing just how deep, awe-inspiring and affecting this masterpiece is. As always, Tarkovsky is a master in the visual department, exhibiting another outstanding flair in establishing a perfect 'mood' of the film through cinematography and ponderous pacing.

Like Kubrick's film, patient viewers will definitely be rewarded highly by the end of Solaris. Any sci-fi film fans who are willing to spend some thoughts(attention,also) on a film should very well explore this masterpiece. And I would also note that Solaris may be Tarkovsky's most 'accessable' work amongst the ones I've seen.

My Verdict: 4.5/5

October 21, 2006

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